Gareth Paterson has worked in architecture, product design, reverse-engineering, CGI and design education for Lord Foster, Sir Terry Farrell, Eon Productions and The Royal College of Art. He joined the Department as a full-time research student in October 2005 and was awarded his PhD in June 2009.
His research interests concern the contribution made to early phase form generation by representation-making activities other than traditional sketching. They focus on the opportunities for augmented design practice offered by novel combinations of virtual and physical digital design representations such as scripting, shape grammars, rapid prototyping and reverse-engineering.
PhD title: Form generation in design
His PhD thesis examines contemporary form generation practice through a fine-grained analysis of a series of design protocols, encompassing physical and virtual, two-dimensional and three-dimensional representation making.
The findings from this analysis suggest that, while sketching is a valuable two-dimensional tool, it can also impair the generation of the three-dimensional form of a design. In turn, by showing how the constructability constraints of a three-dimensional design representation can be a source of emergent shapes, uncovering no obvious disparity between drawing and making in terms of their generative potential, and noting that drawing a representation of a three-dimensional object in a two-dimensional space is necessarily a dis-integration of that form, it suggests that integrating two-dimensional design representations in a three-dimensional space at the earliest opportunity can lead to more satisfactorily realised three-dimensional outcomes.
A significant and novel aspect of this enquiry is that it treats the combination of designer and design representation as a distributed cognitive system, but one where the external representation system necessarily undergoes constant modification. Distributed cognition, and the computational description of the interactions between designers and their representations employed in chapters 4-8, makes it possible to infer their situated, and embodied, visual and spatial reasoning.
The enquiry makes contributions to the theoretical knowledge of how three-dimensional forms are generated, how designers manage the transition from two dimensions to three, and of the gap that often exists between the implicit perceptual space and the explicit transformational space their representations occupy. It raises questions about the position of sketching in design, and the validity of the divisions placed between generation and development in the use of sketching and other three-dimensional design representations.
Abstract and contents pdf (52.1KB)
Introduction pdf (106 KB)
Literature review pdf (250 KB)
Methodology pdf (287 KB)
Lynn’s protocol pdf (1.21 MB)
Miquel’s protocol pdf (4.19 MB)
Andrew’s protocol pdf (2.86 MB)
Peter’s protocol pdf (4.54 MB)
Conclusions pdf (692 KB)
References pdf (32.9 KB)
The first five years of his career were spent as a model-maker on the staff of three major London-based architectural firms. After a short initial period at Arup Associates he was recommended to Foster Associates, and worked there from 1987 – 1989 on projects such as the Duxford Eighth Airforce Museum, Chelsea Reach, Canary Wharf and Stansted Airport among others.
He was subsequently invited to set up Terry Farrell and Partners first in-house model-shop, which he ran from 1989 – 1992. During that time he worked on the London Wall building, MI5’s headquarters at Vauxhall Cross, Charing Cross station and the British Consulate and Peak buildings in Hong Kong, again among many others. After the fall of the Berlin Wall he relocated to Berlin as Kurz Modellbau’s architectural specialist, before diversifying into the product design field.
The following years were divided roughly equally between London and Berlin, and architecture and product design work. Clients from that time include Deutsche Telekom, David Chipperfield Architects, Boots PLC, Sheppard Robson Architects, Sony, Michael Hopkins Architects, Coleman Planet, RHWL, Kohn Pedersen Fox, YRM, Mitsubishi, Troughton McAslan, Polly Pocket, Terry Farrell and Partners (again), Disney, Synapse, The Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, Brand Associates and Pearson Matthews Design.
From 2000 onwards his work involved more digitally based projects, employing laser scanning and CAD modelling for clients such as Viewpoint Datalabs, Eon productions, the Metropolitan Police and English Heritage.
In 2003 he took an MA in Digital Practices (Modelling with Prototyping) at the University of Hertfordshire and subsequently worked at the Royal College of Art, as a full-time staff member and Visiting Lecturer, developing teaching materials to introduce students to digital 3D design – both physical and virtual.
Paterson G, Garner S & Earl C (2007) 'Multimodality through physical digital design', in proc. of Conference of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR07), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 12-15 Nov 2007
Paterson G & Garner S (2006) 'On making: issues of 3D representations in design education' in: Clarke A, Kolar M, Rothbucher B (eds) Educating Designers for a Global Context? Salzburg 7-8th Sept 2006, Basildon, ISBN 0-9553942-0-1, pp: 273-278
Paterson G & Garner S (2006) ‘Form generation: the value of physical objects in digital design’ in: Gross M D & Yi-Luen Do E (eds) Let's Get Physical: Tangible Interaction and Rapid Prototyping in, for, and about Design - Workshop #1, Second International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 8th July 2006
Page Last Updated: 21 October, 2009